About Gamblers Anonymous
Gamblers Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women
who share their experiences, strength and hope with each other that they
may solve their common problem and help others to recover from a
The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop gambling. There
are no dues or fees for Gamblers Anonymous membership; we are
self-supporting through our own contributions. Gamblers Anonymous is not
allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or
institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither
endorses nor opposes any cause. Our primary purpose is to stop gambling
and to help other compulsive gamblers do the same.
Most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real problem gamblers.
No one likes to think they are different from their fellows. Therefore,
it is not surprising that our gambling careers have been characterized
by countless vain attempts to prove we could gamble like other people.
The idea that somehow, someday, we will control our gambling is the
great obsession of every compulsive gambler. The persistence of this
illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of prison,
insanity or death.
We learned we had to concede fully to our innermost selves that we are
compulsive gamblers. This is the first step in our recovery. With
reference to gambling, the delusion that we are like other people, or
presently may be, has to be smashed.
We have lost the ability to control our gambling. We know that no real
compulsive gambler ever regains control. All of us felt at times we were
regaining control, such intervals - usually brief - were inevitably
followed by still less control, which led in time to pitiful and
incomprehensible demoralization. We are convinced that gamblers of our
type are in the grip of a progressive illness. Over any considerable
period of time we get worse, never better.
Therefore, in order to lead normal happy lives, we try to practice to
the best of our ability, certain principles in our daily affairs.
History of Gamblers Anonymous
The fellowship of Gamblers Anonymous is the
outgrowth of a chance meeting between two men during the month of
January in 1957. These men had a truly baffling history of trouble and
misery due to an obsession to gamble. They began to meet regularly and
as the months passed neither had returned to gambling.
They concluded from their discussions that in order to prevent a relapse
it was necessary to bring about certain character changes within
themselves. In order to accomplish this, they used for a guide certain
spiritual principles which had been utilized by thousands of people who
were recovering from other compulsive addictions. The word spiritual can
be said to describe those characteristics of the human mind that
represent the highest and finest qualities such as kindness, generosity,
honesty and humility. Also, in order to maintain their own abstinence
they felt that it was vitally important that they carry the message of
hope to other compulsive gamblers.
As a result of favorable publicity by a prominent newspaper columnist
and TV commentator, the first group meeting of Gamblers Anonymous was
held on Friday, September 13, 1957, in Los Angeles, California. Since
that time, the fellowship has grown steadily and groups are flourishing
throughout the world.